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>> reporter: new york. >> you remember, you can always follow what's going on in "the situation room." i'm on twitter. you can also follow "the situation room" on facebook. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "john king usa" starts right "john king usa" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- we have an advance copy of the agenda house republicans will outline tomorrow and some stunning new poll numbers. a democratic senator in trouble. a tale of two different tea party candidates. delaware, not so good for christine o'donnell. first, turmoil and turnover in what was once called the no drama obama white house. a new book spotlights bitter infighting over the war in afghanistan and some of the quotes attributed to the president are generating
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controversy. and the white house is one place in america where the hoelp wantd listings are growing. now there's word chief of staff rahm emanuel could leave as early as next month to run for mayor of chicago. >> people ask me sort of how do i stay calm in my job. >> so does all this drama impact the president's agenda and his party's already shaking? jim dike is a veteran republican strategist. this is hardly the first white house shake-up covered by gloria borger. i want to start with the democrats. paul, rahm emanuel is a friend of yours. rahm emanuel is polling already in chicago. he knows ethically it would be a bad deal to stay inside the white house once he makes the decision if he starts organizing a campaign. all signs are yes, you don't have any doubt? >> well, he hasn't said, at least not to me, finally, informally, but he's never made it a secret.
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the two great dreams of ram's life is to be speaker or to be mayor of chicago. i think he's served him quite well. who could possibly, you know, who could stay in the way of him saying, mr. president, i've served you as best i can, now i want to go -- >> if rahm emanuel may leave as early as next month, you also have people leaving on the economic team. peter orszag, the budget director, gone. larry summers, leaving. rahm emanuel possibly leaving soon. donna brazile, six weeks before an election, any impact on the workings of the white house and the political operation? >> absolutely not. >> absolutely not? >> absolutely not. it's not unusual for people to start looking for a way out after the midterm. >> this is before the midterms though. >> well, john, we know they may put their resignation in but they won't leave till after the midterms. they want to get back to business, get back to their lives. as for rahm emanuel, i think if
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he chooses to run, will be a very tough candidate. he knows how to put together coalitions. he has enormous reach in terms of fund-raising. the ability to bring people on board. so if he chooses to run, he will be the instant front-runner in that race. >> i want to bring the others into the conversation. this is an administration, the first african-american president, yet you hear from african-americans around the country and some women this is a president who's surrounded himself with a largely white male team in senior positions. do you think these openings are an opportunity for more diversity in this white house? do they need that? >> there's always an opportunity for more diversity all across america. look, the president can find good capable strong people who happen to be minority, female, absolutely, put them in those slolts. >> put them in those slots. >> valerie jarrett, senior adviser, the secretary of state is apparently a woman, i can attest to that, mrs. clinton -- >> barnes -- >> -- he's got a lot of women in -- >> yet there's grumblings about
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this. >> not in the polling. particularly african-americans are still holding very firm to this president and women -- >> -- solid distraction if i was the president. i'd tell rahm emanuel not to say another thing about it. the american people are concerned about jobs. they're concerned about deficits, debts. this can't help the president at a time when they want him focused on this and his staff to be chattering about whether he's going to run for mayor. no one cares. >> these job, i don't have to tell you this, these jobs are really tough. every year serving in the white house can be measured in dog year, right? it's just a tough -- >> this last one has been a female dog -- >> -- has been really -- >> can i say that, i don't know -- >> yeah, what does that mean? >> a tough year. >> yeah what does that mean, yeah. and so these are really -- these are tough jobs. you're distracted maybe with that. these are tough jobs so you can't blame people for leaving. i think the problem is where the people get so distracted by thinking who's going to be the next white house chief of staff. this isn't only a parlor game we
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play, it's a game they're playing inside the white house. >> to jim's point, democrats have been urging this white house, you have been on this program and others urging this white house, forget everything else, focus on jobs, jobs, job, jobs. and then pause and focus on jobs. that's your message to the white house. maybe it doesn't play out in the country as much as it does here in washington. but now you have -- this is welcome to another administration and another woodward book. this is the national security adviser, jim jones, talking about the staff. national security adviser james l. jones privately referred to the water bug, the mafia or the campaign set. i mean, he's a general. i'm sure the political guys are a pain in the you know what sometimes. why do people say these things? >> now we know why all those stories were leaked about jim jones -- >> by the way, people say he's going to leave after midterms probably too. >> he's a national treasure, too. four star marine general who by the way is very close friends
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with john mccain. agreed to serve a president of the opposite party. deserving of high, high honor. and so -- >> but what happened to the tightly disciplined no drama, no leak, no internal warfare white house? >> welcome to the white house. i mean, it's one thing to be able to control it in a campaign. but this is a much bigger broader apparatus. just from the excerpts in "the washington post" i don't mind -- i like the fact there was a little head knocking, a little fighting, over a war. these are thousands of brave americans lives at risk. billions of dollars of our money. and that's okay with me if they were arguing about that. >> that's fine, some head knocking. i think the trouble -- the problem for this white house and previous white houses is the perception they're more interested in making political decisions than they are make national and security decisions. that's something lots of people tried to say about bush when he was president and, you know, we can absorb attacks. i don't know how that will play out. >> let's go through some of that. let's show some people some of the things people are saying are
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quite controversial. other people are shrugging and saying yeah, so what. this is to lindsey graham, republican senator, the president was talking about the deadline, july 2011, to start bringing folks home from afghanistan. he was saying, you don't want to be so firm, such a hard date. the president allegedly said, can't let this be a war without end and can't lose the whole democratic party. you can make the argument as jim just did wow, you're linking a war to a political calculation. or you can make the case as the obama white house says, well, he's a democratic president. if he loses the support of his entire party, how does he govern? >> he would have been better off saying -- talking about lotion the support of the american people than his democratic party and i think there's a big difference in those two -- >> jim and i both know he has to go before congress to get, you know, not only appropriation for the war but also when there are changes in strategies, when the general -- when we change generals. i don't know why a democratic can't somehow or another govern with the politics behind -- in terms of his calculations. he understood what was at
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stake -- >> -- reluctant warrior from the excerpts i've read in the book, that the question can be raised, particularly with that quote, question can be raised, if he's such a reluctant warrior, why did we go to war? why did we send more troops? was it a political -- >> -- also say deeply involved in the common terrorism strategy so these excerpt, all this cherry picking, paints him as somebody who was hard nosed, clearly involved in the -- in afghanistan. >> perfectly attuned to politics, look at abraham lincoln. hammering his generals before the re-election of 1864 to win a couple of battles so he could win the re-election. and he was totally attuned to the politics of it. you can't separate the two. >> don't disagree, but there was an attempt to use it as a negative against president bush and i think -- >> here's one other -- >> the president used it against the democrats with iraq so -- it's politics -- >> -- the president saying we
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can absorb a terrorist attack. we'll do everything we can to prevent it. even on 9/11, even the biggest attack ever, we absorbed it and we are stronger. some people saying, why is the president talking about the united states can absorb a terrorist attack? others saying if bush said that everybody would say, there he go, cowboy again. others saying, that's the president saying, we're doing everything we can to stop it but america's a big country and we can deal with it. that's the political debate right now. >> he sounded -- say this nicely, sounded more like an israeli leader than an american. americans tend to whine. they all want to be victims. he said, no, we're a big tough country. israel's a tiny tough country and they're not scared of nothing. i like the fact that this guy -- he doesn't want an attack. good lord, nobody does. but you know what the country's not going to fold. >> -- he didn't say bring it on, right? >> he wasn't, like bush was, in what he said basically, the same thing, making a similar point about how we're a tough country and -- i mean, i think, again, there will be people who don't make the distinction that maybe
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some democrats are making and separate the two. and see this as political and use it for political purposes. >> all right, so, quick time-out. everyone's going to stay with us. this is a conversation happening in washington right now about this book, about the turmoil. what about out in the country? how's it playing? year es ago, there was a campaign ad for a republican president. it was called morning in america. now trying to turn the phrase, saying mourning in america. we'll tell you about it when we come back. how new is the new edge with myford touch? well you could never do this before. or this. or this. you definitely couldn't do this. play kate's mix. or this. temperature, 72 degrees. say hello to the new edge with myford touch.™ quite possibly the world's smartest crossover.
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midterm election year. in the first term of the obama presidency, a lot of people look back to 1994, the first midterm of bill clinton. others go back to 1980, the first of ronald reagan. republicans lost some seats in that election. then in 1948 when reagan was running for re-election, if you turned on the tv, you saw this. >> it's morning again in america. today, more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country's history. >> that was then. some of the people behind those ads then say it's mourning in america. trying to put the democrats on
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the defensive. listen here. >> there's mourning in america. today, 15 million men and women won't have the opportunity to go to work. business is shuttered. 2,900 families will have their homes foreclosed by nightfall. >> that's an ad by fred smith, the republican admaker. it's a modest ad, about $400,000 on cable to start. they said they might put more money behind it. a dreary, dreary message. republican group, i assume, trying to get everybody on the left depressed and everybody on right motivated. >> i've been -- reagan a lot, doing a book on him. i don't believe reagan would run an ad like that. he ran in a terrible recession. he said, our greatest days are ahead of us. fdr said, happy days are here again. bill clinton ran in a recession, said things can be great.
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republicans are at their best when they're like reagan, hopeful, and this not a hopeful ad. i'm not being partisan. i would not run that -- >> i'm not sure the president sounds hopeful what i've heard him say -- >> well, that's the point. >> -- roundtable, whatever he's been doing, little get-togethers. he doesn't sound hopeful. the two biggest issues, health care reform and the stimulus, no one wants to talk about. and that's put him in a real bind. i mean, you saw the woman, the cnbc thing, talk about how she was disappointed with him. you see that with in thes. >> this was her saying she was exhausted defending his record when she knows he's done some thing, made some progress. people like her, middle class american are not feeling the joy yet, that's what she's saying. >> it reinforces the pessimism people are feeling right now. >> to that point, you heard the economic part of it at the top of the ad, mourning in america, all the unemployment. these guys doing this are called the citizen forth republic.
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they say they're old friends of ronald reagan. they make a direct personal attack on the president of the united states as well. let's listen. >> there's mourning in america. under the leadership of president obama, our country is fading and weaker and worse open. his policies were a grand experiment. policies that failed. >> it's a -- i guess a more polished advertising way of raising the question sarah palin often does when she says, how's that hopy changy thing going. >> when you take an economy that's gone off the cliff and you bring it back on the road to recovery it will take some time. one thing that has frustrated i think many democrats and god knows i don't speak for a lot, is that we've set back and we've watched republicans try to reframe the argument that somehow or another they're responsible stewards of the economy when they inherited a budget surplus from clinton and gore and they squandered it and now obama and the democrats must
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clean up the elephant dump we've been doing the last two. >> whether you like that or not, as people who have done campaigned, and covered campaigns, what's the point -- >> a referendum on obama. this is not the choice election that barack obama wants and the democrats want, this is a referendum on obama and his policies. >> it's a referendum on obama policies. they told us if we spent a trillion dollars on still00 unemployment wouldn't go over 8% it did. they told us if we pass this health care thing, things would change, things would be better for people, they haven't. we've increase the the deficit. now we're talking about tax increases. i mean, it's the policies that are the problem. >> it's the choice -- go ahead, paul -- >> so it is incumbent upon him to offer new policies. particularly republicans. in that ad, they do not. that's why i hate this ad. they're trying to depress the vote. which is kind of an unamerican thing to do tell you the truth.
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all this energy right, and i admire that. i do not admire running ads that say america sucks. >> -- republicans don't need that ad, the democrats are already depressed. >> and republicans, while -- they blame the republicans for the mess we're in right now. >> the president's team knows this stuff is going on. whether that specific ad as far as that dynamic. he strig to reach out to the obama coalition which we've learned is not necessarily the democratic coalition this year. here's the president's message. he's essentially saying get up off your you know what. >> i need everybody here to step up their game. we've got to have the same energy. we've got to have the same enthusiasm. >> so, rallying cry there to his own people. i have to tell you, when you watch and listen to president, he doesn't seem to have a lot of enthusiasm in that speech. >> there's no music, there's into energy. if you want to go back to -- if you want to inspire a depressed
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force, you don't attack your force. you don't say beatings will continue till morale improves. we say, look at them, they're eve, they're evil. ken starr, newt gingrich -- >> you have to tell them what the stakes are. john boehner honestly is not the enemy. it's not enough -- >> oh, he should be -- >> sarah palin -- >> so then why don't they do that? donna and paul, why don't they do it? >> we've got h40 days and we al know from the bible that 40 days is a long time. >> we're ready to turn this thing around -- >> is he conflicted -- what is it? >> he wouldn't be where he was if he wasn't tough. this guy is a political mir come worker. we need a political miracle. this is not a hope change time in america. people are angry. i think and donna thinks they should be angry at the republicans for ruining the dhaunt bill clinton and al gore built up. but he needs to -- he does, he needs to point some fingers
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here. he hates to do that. >> i agree with some of it as well -- >> -- wall street as well -- >> this is also a change election because they wanted change. i would argue it's more about the iraq war and other things in 2008 and 2006, by the way, when democrats took over congress, prior to obama's election. they are angry because they put their trust in barack obama to do these things. he's accomplished things. and they haven't done what he said they were going to do and that's a problem. >> i got to call a quick time-out in the conversation. we've got a lot more to come. let's head over to the magic wall. we'll give you a sense of what we do have coming. we'll bring you the headlines tonight. steven colbert coming to washington for an immigration hearing. we'll tell you what that's all about. later on tonight when we break down the politics, a lot of republicans trying to move around country thinking obama
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might be vulnerable in 2012. what leading republican says, i'm not ready? you don't want to miss that. and fascinating new numbers on some of this year's biggest senate races. and two very different look twoot two prominent tea party candidates.
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let's check in with joe johns for the latest political news. >> this is no joke. stephen colbert testifies this friday at a hearing on protecting america's harvest. he'll tell members of a house immigration subcommittee about spending a day in the fields
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volunteering for the united farm workers take our jobs campaign. ohio's state democratic party chairman got a little carried away while accusing republicans of believing in, his words, health care is a privilege, not a right. chris redfern used the "f" word on camera. >> if your kid's going to graduate from college, now he or she gets health care, your health care, while he or she looks for a new job. it's in the very base terms. we win these arguments. and every time one of these [ bleep ] say -- excuse me language -- >> just got to watch for the open mic there, folks. he tells cnn he wasn't aware of the camera but -- well that it was on, but since it was a private meeting he's not apologizing. president obama was much more polite this afternoon while explaining benefits to virginia voters. >> the single biggest driver of
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our deficit is the escalating cost of health care. it was bankrupting families, companies and our government. so we said we had to take this on. >> so we know just a little bit about open mics and you, the big question is whether they were talking about health care in that debate -- >> health care costs are an issue up in massachusetts. remember, they had the romney plan beforehand. interesting to see the president doing that. as you know this is one of the greatest white house frustrations. they thought they would get some political plus out of the health care plan. instead, americans are deeply divided. but the white house is hoping -- let's go over here and show some of the provisions of the new law take effect actually tomorrow and the white house is hoping that as people start to see these things, maybe they'll have a better feeling about the law. one of the things that takes effect, children can now stay on their parent's coverage up until age 26. you cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions if you're under 19. little bit of a cold. they can't rescind my coverage
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when my illness strike, starting tomorrow. and you get free preventive care and no lifetime limits on your insurance. this is important, these changes, if you're getting a new policy. if you have a current policy, some of these changes won't take effect until either january 1st or your open enrollment period when your policy changes every year. if you have a plan, like we do here, maybe you have a cold, might not come as soon as tomorrow. >> you could use a little health care yourself right now. >> the larger point, they're hoping, the white house and the democratic party, that as people start to realize, pre-existing conditions, this is a little better for me, they're hoping it will help a little bit. six weeks to election day at this moment it's still a negative -- >> is the narrative written, do you think on this thing? is it too late? >> for this campaign, most people would say yes. we'll keep an eye on this one. and when we come back, we'll talk about the next campaign. republicans already jockeying to run against president obama except one very prominent
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for a 30-tablet free trial offer, investors are demanding more for their money. good. this time, i'm watching fees like a hawk. i hate hidden fees. why should i have to pay for something that i shouldn't have to pay for? td ameritrade's pricing is clear and it's straightforward... it's spelled out upfront. no hidden fees... no bait and switch. no gotchas. and there's one flat rate for online equity trades... for big accounts... or small ones. that's the way it ought to be. time for fresh thinking. time for td ameritrade. not just energy on the right when it comes to this year's midterm elections. a lot of republicans already thinking ahead to 2012. why? because many of them think obama looks vulnerable. so let's talk about the state of the republican party. with us here, erick erickson, the editor and chief of red
7:31 pm erick, i'm hold this up, his new book, in book stores tomorrow morning if you can't sneak out and get it today, get an advance copy. i might get mine autographed. and the veteran pollster. and paul begala back with us. jim demint has been behind a lot of these tea party candidates who have had success. he was on with candy crowley on "state of the union" sunday and was asked, if you're not going to run for president in 2012, who you thinking about? >> i'm looking for someone that's almost like a governor christie in new jersey, that the government has to do less if we want to save our country. >> all apologies due, you'll have to look elsewhere because here's governor christie this morning on cnbc. >> i mean, two things, right, first, you have to have -- in your heart, you have to want it
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more than anything else. more than anything else. i don't want it that badly. secondly, you got to believe in your heart that you are ready to walk into the oval office and to lead the nation. and i don't feel like i'm ready. >> that's remarkable candor there. i don't feel like i'm ready. pretty much straight-up. a lot of politicians wouldn't have the guts to say it like that. >> that's where you get credibility. >> that's his hallmark. he is the refreshing candidate who tells it like it is. what is interesting from demint, he endorsed romney in '08. doesn't sound like he's comm committed in this time. >> shows humility, pretty rare in politicians. >> let me argue, devil's advocate here. chris christie, yes, getting a lot of great coverage. republicans saying, here's this guy doing what he promised to do. he's making the tough decisions. if you're christie, do you say, my party has a history of going with the guys who have been around the track before and maybe i think obama's going to win re-election, i'll wait anyway? >> you know, i think that christie is smart in that he
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knows if he even hints at it, look what's happening to haley barbour who is flirting with it and now there are dozens of stories every week about how he had a mixed up racial past in mississippi. everyone's going to come after him. right now, he's fighting the democrats in new jersey. he can't afford this fight with the republican party right now. >> why are there so many republicans moving around this early? >> because they see barack obama as potentially vulnerable. 2010 is going to be a great republican year and they think that may carry over into 2012. >> if you look back at more recent history in the white house, you worked in a great republican year in '94. turned out to be a good thing politically for bill clinton. we could be having a very different conversation about barack obama this time next year. >> not necessarily predictive at all. >> 1994, worst democratic year in my lifetime. with all respect to palin and others, they're no bob dole. gifted guy. yet bill clinton cruised to an easy re-election two years after
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the worst landslide against his party. >> a lot of conversations about the tea party. shows up in your polling. you're a big fan. you've been watching with fascinati fascination, seeing what happens out there. not always a big fan. wolf blitzer sat down today with i'm sure everybody out there in america knows, america's greatest populist, donald trump, to get his version on the tea party. listen to this. >> it's extremely powerful and i love it. think it's great. because they're telling people we're watching you. i really love it. they're saying that we don't want china to take over the united states. they're saying that we don't want to see oil prices at 75 if they're supposed to be at $20 a barrel and we don't want to be paying all of this money. there's a lot of great things happening in the so-called tea party movement. i tell you, it's got people thinking. it's got people on the democratic side and the republican side thinking. >> you know, erick, i'm going to look through the index here. i don't think donald trump is in here. >> i missed that one. i tried to get it without it an
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index just like sarah palin's. they wouldn't let me. >> i don't mean to make too much light of it with everybody, even donald trump, sounding like a populist. >> he's a brilliant man and brilliant barometer of public opinion. that is a guy who is in touch, somehow, some ineiganate talent has. would have been a great politician. i don't think democrats should demonize the tea party but we shouldn't patronize them either. these are serious ideas. i think they have serious -- that's what we should talk about, the serious ideas they're putting forward. >> it's very clear, they're very conservative fiscally but they really feel like people in washington aren't listening. and that's the source of their frustration. they feel economically distressed. they fear money from washington is going to wall street rather than to help them. they're really frustrated. that's where the energy's coming from. >> i'll make a prediction you can trot out in two years to embarrass me. think 2010 is the year tea party
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activists go after democrats. 2012, they'll go after the republicans. >> you think they're unhappy -- >> i think they're unhappy with both parties. >> when you mention the focus group, help us to understand, because we sit here and i traveled some this year but not as much as i would like. and you know it's different from state to state, the tea party movement. so how are they different? help us, when you do focus groups in different parts of the country? >> they're fundamentally disaffected republicans and they all get agravateded about different issues. findme findmentally, they're people who would be republicans if they felt like somebody were listening to them and speaking for them. >> as opposed to the perro movement which i studied in great detail which was half democrats and half republican, mostly out of the center. these are i think people who believed the republicans betrayed conservative republicans. so they're more conservative than the mainstream republicans. very different phenomena. >> quick break. we'll put this to the test. number of fascinating races involving tea party candidates. new polling, it's stunning. we'll show you one tea party
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all right, we're back with our panel. also joining us, our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. we have some fascinating new numbers about important senate races this year. a lot of talk about the tea party candidates. so you upset an incumbent candidate in the primary. we have new numbers. we'll show you fascinating developments. we'll start in colorado. ken buck was the tea party candidate. help beat the establishment republican in the primary.
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michael bennet is the republican at the moment. ken buck winning, remember, he's a tea party candidate. i'll make this go away. give that a little bang. it's a little feisty today. the delaware race now. christine o'donnell, you've heard a lot about her in recent weeks. her democratic opponent, 55%. a 16-point gap here. the democrat winning in the state of delaware. now a closer look and see if we can show you why. bring this one down. here's the colorado race. i'll use a little telestraighter here. mr. bennet holding the democratic base. buck holding the republican base. the tea party candidate getting 50% of the independent vote. that's the difference, independents breaking for the republican in the tea party candidate. you look at the delaware race as well, we bring this in, look at the same dynamic. cans holding the democratic base. 77%. that's all of the republicans. people who say they're republicans, 15% of them say they're going to vote for the
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democratic chris cans. that's one problem for christine o'donnell. look at this. the democrat in this race is winning the middle. independent voters for cans here, independent voters for buck here, why can one candidate in colorado, ken buck, get the middle, and keep his base, and christine o'donnell's having a problem with the two most important rules of politics, keep your base, get the middle? >> they're different states and they're different candidates. in colorado, the democrats nominated the establishment candidate. the republicans nominated the insurgent candidate. so in an anti-establishment, anti-incumbent, anti-democratic year, the republicans nominated the better candidate in colorado. delaware is a more liberal state. it's a bluer state. more democratic state. and ken buck and christine o'donnell are very different candidates. you can see that reflected in their numbers. >> let's la aelet's look a littt the numbers. christine o'donnell, look at
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this, chris cans getting 49% of the male vote. essentially splitting that. 46% for o'donnell. but among women, the democrat, 61%. the female republican tea party candidate, 32%. why a gender gap? >> i know i'm going to get e-mails about this but looking at that it makes me think about 2008 and sarah palin00 she was put on the ticket in large part because of john mccain's campaign. we're hoping that she would reach out to women, especially suburban women, and it didn't happen. it looks like the same thing seaning with her protegee, christine o'donnell. >> one of the reasons democrats have so much trouble is they're losing those women, especially women, in the middle. my old boss bill clinton against bob dole, i talked earlier how he cruised to an easy re-election. he lost the male vote. and so democrats have got to get those women in the middle. chris coons is doing it with the attend of miss o'donnell who's a little eccentric.
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>> when you talk to your friends and people at, have they written that race off? >> not really. there's already a lot of blame with the establishment republicans that yes, she would be behind, but she wouldn't be behind as far but for what the republican party did to her. >> beat her up in the primary. >> yes. >> if the republicans are going to get the senate majority, they need to take seat now held by democrat russ feingold of the state of wisconsin. look at this right now. 51% to 45%, feingold is losing. both of these candidates are holding their base. look at in tdependents. in the middle of the electorate. i was looking at new pennsylvania numbers today. you look at the colorado numbers across the country. this is a dynamic that is helping republicans. >> we've seen this all over the country. it goes back 18 months.
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resurgeant polling first started in april 2009 showing how they were looking more like republicans than democrats. but you'd see it in state after state after state. these are stunning numbers from wisconsin. but it's driven by the independents who are lining up with republicans this year. >> what makes it very interesting is there's a little bit of a role reversal. when feingold first ran, he was the outsider. he was the nobody. he was the guy who was going to go to washington and teach them some lessons. >> back when i first ran for the senate, i said i would shoot straight, be independent, and fight for wisconsin. not much has changed today. i still live in the same house. i continue to always keep my promise to pupt tt the people o wisconsin ahead of any party or corporate interest. >> now that's mr. feingold. i want to show you, very quickly, ron johnson, who is running against him.
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>> it's about a guy with 31 years of real-world manufacturing experience, producing products, exporting products. versus someone like russ feingold who has really been in politics the better part of 30 years. >> looking at the images from that ad, certainly i understand his theme, i was just thinking, showing pictures of himself so young, might be interesting. i was thinking about the fact that, look, on the independent voter, if there is a wave, this is one of the places to watch because russ feingold, watching him and covering him in the senate, he does tell his party to take a hike. he is genuinely one of most independent senators and who has angered both parties and so if he loses maybe because he has a senator in front of his name, that's really indicative of people saying throw them out.
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>> why any incumbent, any democratic year, do you run a commercial reminding people how long you've been in washington? there seem to be a disconnect there to me. >> they think they've got something though after mr. johnson with independents. they argue that mr. johnson is a businessman who was a beneficiary of three federal loans. a bailout of sorts. now he's going to get the votes of people who hate federal bailouts. >> six weeks, he'd better hurry if he's going to turn that around. thank you. dana's going to be back with us. a little break. when we come back, the latest political headlines. the most powerful half-ton crew in america has a powertrain backed for 100,000 miles. chevy silverado half-ton a consumers digest best buy and the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road.
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welcome back. let's check in again with joe johns. >> a u.s. appeals court today ruled florida's ban on adoptions
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by same sex couples is unconstitutional. governor charlie crist, who's running for the u.s. senate, immediately announced florida will stop enforcing the ban. also in florida, al gore will make a rare campaign appearance a week from tomorrow at a rally for democratic u.s. senate candidate kendrick meek. tomorrow at a virginia hardware stop, republican lawmakers will unveil their party's 21 page pledge to america. among the promises, a freeze on most federal hiring and imposing federal spending caps and repealing and replace president obama's health care law. so obviously, john, it's been compared to the contract with america. in some ways, though, it's scaled down, even though it's 21 pages long. >> even though we've obtained a copy tonight, they'll release it tomorrow. it's controversial already. joining the conversation, joe johns. dana bash still with us, erick erickson as well. they go through these bullet
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points largely focused on fiscal issues. they haven't released it yet but you don't like it. >> it's just -- it's designed to woo independents, admittedly, to shy away of being the party of no, which worked successfully for pelosi in '06, and it really does nothing. for xaem, example, saying we're not going to grow the federal workforce? the federal workforce has not grown since world war ii. everything we expected them to do is in there. nothing to surprise us was in there. >> there are a couple of small things. for example, they say they're going to be -- this is i think the things that are most important, to reach out to tea party voters. weekly votes on spending cuts. federal hiring freeze on all nonsecurity employees. allowing any amendment that is offered to be voted on. but big picture, talk to some of the authors of this, what they are aiming for here is getting
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to the voter, the one who goes into the voting booth and says, i don't like the democrats, but i really don't like the republicans too giving them something to say, we hear you, we're going to deal with that. >> it sounds like they so wanted to avoid a major tug-of-war within their own party about this document that they wrote something that's maybe too safe? >> well, they also gave themselves a lot of wiggle room. i scanned it. i didn't see in that document anywhere where they said they were going to bring to the floor for a vote this or that in a time certain, the way the contract with america did. am i right about that? >> i didn't see it in there either. they got the stuff about the social policy. the funniest part is they've got a line in there about how this ruling eleelt has imposed mandates on the people. then the health care section, it's imposing mandates on insurance companies. i mean, total hypocrisy on that one. >> it's broader than the contract with america. it's not as specific as that was actual legislation. the idea they say is that these
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are things that they can try to do immediately, as soon as they get into -- >> the biggest one is no earmarks. they fought hard to get a conference rule on no earmark wise they all say is the gateway drug to bigger government, and it's not even in there -- >> the problem is, they all say that -- >> if you're not willing to pick that fight before the election, they'll never pick it after they win. >> we'll look at the document tomorrow. here's a question i'm sure you've asked yourself what would you do if you met the iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad? pete on the street, pete domini dominick, he'd love to meet him. he's next. hostcould switching i really save you 15% or more car insurance?
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"rick's list prime time" just ahead at the top of the hour. >> we have just gotten some information, john, about the embattled bishop eddie long and his sex scandal and those accusations against him, how he's finally going to address this. we have that information on the very day that another person has come forward saying that he was coerced into having sex with this reverend. wow. we'll have it all for you right here on "rick's list."
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>> heads of state from around the world have converged on new york for the united nations general assembly. pete dominick dodged the gridlock to ask which leader would you like to meet. pete. >> john king, i'm not excited actually to hear who you would like to meet, seeing as you've already met so many world leader bus i went out and got some really interesting answers. i look forward to yours after this. >> nelson mandela. >> obama. >> probably president sarkozy. >> gandhi. >> who would you least like to meet? >> bush. >> ahmadinejad. >> you'd most like to meet ahmadinejad? >> yeah. >> what would you say to him? >> i just like to know if he's really as crazy as people make him out to be. >> clinton. >> who's the person you really -- i'm not going to use the "h" word but dislike?
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>> ahmadinejad. >> maybe obama. >> you really don't like obama? wow that is something. you are bold. >> obama. >> really? wow. >> make it a threesome. >> who is your least favorite world leader? obviously it's got to be some violent dictator, right? >> no, but they're too intriguing, i'd want to meet all of them. >> from "the west wing," what's his name, martin -- >> martin sheen? >> yeah, liked him. >> you want to meet a fake president? >> well, i'm saying, he could be. >> well, there you go, john king. it is buzzing here in new york as i was on my way up to cnn, i walked past a whole bunch of people, including terry mcauliffe and others. i want to know, who would you like to meet? you've met a lot of world leaders already. who is it, john? >> before i get to that, i can't believe you just had -- oh, never mind,

John King USA
CNN September 22, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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